Thanks for all the help finding those churchesbrick, modern, disappointing; too empty of ideas even to be awfulthat seem to mark too much of Catholic architecture in the United States. The emails have come pouring in, and it's going to take me a day or so to sort them out before I can make a dependable list. (And what's up with Mary, Mother of the Church in Burnsville, Minnesota? By far the most-nominated building.)
Meanwhile, however, I've been thinking of the flip side: the prettiest Catholic churches in Americasmall gems rather than grand cathedrals, for preference, and possessing a unity of interior space and exterior presence.
At first thoughtnot a well-considered list, just something to get movingthere's Saints Peter & Paul in San Francisco, with its confectionary spires precariously swirled atop a drab cake. The Renaissance Revival of St. Mary of the Angels in Chicago, nine-foot guardian angels at watch on its red-brick battlements. The California late-Baroque exaggerationreally narrow nave, really high ceilingof the Carmel of the Infant Jesus in Santa Clara. The innovative Gothic at play in the interior of St. Vincent Ferrer, a steepleless Dominican church up Lexington Avenue in New York. Old St. Patrick's in New Orleans. The new Federalist-style adoration chapel added seamlessly to St. Joseph's Cathedral in Sioux Falls. The restored interior of Latrobe's first basilica in Baltimore. The stone retreat chapel atcould there be a better name?St. Edmund's Enders Island, Mystic, Connecticut.
Please do email your own nominationsfor both the dull and the prettyto email@example.com.